Having waiting so long for rainfall in many places this summer, it is frustrating to see much of it running off hard ground and going to waste. If you have pots, containers and hanging baskets then you’ll also be used to the sight of water running through the dry soil, often appearing to come out of the bottom rather than doing too much good.
Part of the answer is obviously to capture and store water as much as is practical for you and your garden, so water butts or even several water butts linked together. But then you still have the task of watering.
Although it requires forward planning, another useful step is using an appropriate liner or other moisture retaining ‘barrier’ at the bottom of any pots and hanging baskets, not only will this make watering more efficient it will also help ‘save’ any rainfall we do get.
When looking for a suitable liner look for something that is semi-permeable so it will at least let some water through otherwise there is the risk of waterlogging with any heavy rainfall or over-enthusiastic watering.
Maxswell’s ‘Swelliner’ is a new type of water-swellable reservoir for pots and hanging baskets that swells to hold around a week’s supply of water, it acts as a super liner, holding more water than coir matting and then releasing slowly in a controlled way. When saturated the Swelliner is permeable so that waterlogging isn’t an issue. Unlike the traditionally used granules or crystals, the Swelliner keep moisture beneath the plants to encourage healthy and vigorous roots systems.